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Corporate volunteering: a three-pronged advantage
If you’ve ever asked yourself how you can help improve your employees’ leadership skills, encourage interdisciplinary teamwork, attract new talent or develop a culture of community engagement, volunteering may be the answer.
Corporate volunteer programs are proven to impact the success of a business and the individuals who work there.
Company advantage: Volunteering offers employees a unique way to interact with each other, often without the confines of office politics. Employees are able to try out new skills that are different from their everyday tasks and roles, which can improve their overall capabilities and productivity. A survey conducted by Deloitte found that more than 90 percent of human resource executives agreed that volunteering was an effective way to improve leadership skills. Employers who offer volunteer programs are more likely to attract and retain younger employees, too. Even 61 percent of surveyed millennials who rarely volunteer considered a potential employer’s commitment to giving back when making a decision about their future careers.
Employee advantage: Corporate volunteer programs are a smart way to make a difference in the community while still keeping a healthy work/life balance. Participation often offers the flexibility to give back during work hours without the strain on family and personal time. With so many charitable organizations needing “skills-based” volunteers, individuals can sharpen already known skills and gain additional knowledge in their field of work. In addition to building professional and leadership skills, when employees are able to connect outside of work, their social interactions will translate into better workplace connections. On a personal level, volunteering increases feelings of self-confidence, purpose and happiness, which has been proven to positively impact workplace performance. Volunteer experience also is a positive attribute to include on an employee’s resume.
Community advantage: Giving back through corporate volunteer programs also strengthens the community where you live and work. Individuals who volunteer are more likely to develop a passion for and donate to the organizations they give their time to, creating a positive ripple effect for years to come.
These benefits are just a few of the reasons why volunteering has long been an important part of Triangle’s culture. As Triangle celebrates our 100th year in the construction business, one of our goals is to commit 800 hours of employee time to volunteer efforts over the course of 100 days — we call this our 100 Days of Giving campaign. Our employees lead this effort by suggesting organizations to partner with, and then working with each organization to create volunteer opportunities. A few of those organizations include:
- Well House — Founded in 1977, Well House provides safe and affordable housing for the homeless, with a focus on recycling, energy conservation, farming and gardening. Tenants are given the opportunity to earn an income and learn valuable skills through their urban farm cultivation. Triangle has been able to assist Well House with various projects, including home renovations and repairs, seed planting and its annual plant sale.
- Habitat for Humanity — Habitat has a long history of serving the Kent County community by building homes for low-income families. Habitat focuses on improving the financial stability, health and education of the families and individuals it serves. Volunteers in Kent County have been able to provide over 400 local families with affordable housing.
- Kids’ Food Basket — The organization helps thousands of children thrive every day by meeting a simple but critical need: the nourishment of an evening meal made with love. Kids' Food Basket believes that childhood hunger is an issue that affects our whole community and the work to end it should engage the whole community. Volunteers drive its success, which helps keep the mission alive and local children fed.
Through these efforts, we have seen an improvement in collaboration among the teams working together while having a measurable impact on our community. Encouraging volunteerism can be a simple and effective way to improve the success of your business and keep employees engaged.
How is your company helping to support employee volunteering?